D.J. (real name unknown) is a former antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's The Walking Dead. He is a former high ranking member of the Saviors and the former second-in-command of Jed's Savior rebels. After the apparent death of Rick Grimes, he becomes a member of the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
During his time as a Savior, D.J. was like many other members: an aggressive extortionist and raider that imposed his will onto others. However, he is not as much of an extremist as some of the other Saviors like Simon. After the Saviors are defeated, D.J. tries to cooperate with the communities and live in peace, but decides to follow Jed on his rebellion against their new leader, Carol, after several of his fellow Saviors are killed.
Six years after the apparent death of Rick Grimes and the fall of the Sanctuary, D.J. has a change of heart, opting not to follow Jed in continuing the Savior ways and joining Alexandria, eventually becoming a trusted and civil member who watches over the gate, escorts newcomers to holding, and helps transport Magna's group to the Hilltop, holding no grudge against his former enemies. In return, his former enemies show him no animosity and easily treat D.J. as one of their own.
D.J. is also shown to have an unwavering loyalty to Michonne, as she is shown to have complete trust in him, referring to him and Siddiq as “her men”.
D.J.'s most noticeable trait seems to be loyalty. Just as he was staunchly loyal to Negan, he is loyal to Alexandria and Michonne seven and a half years later. Despite this, D.J. has enough sense not to fight for a lost cause, as he never attempted to free Negan and refused to join Jed's group of marauders following the demise of the Sanctuary, despite initially joining his rebellion. Over the six years following Rick's disappearance, D.J. became a trusted member of Alexandria, earning Michonne's respect as a loyal survivor.
Nothing is known about D.J.'s life prior to or as the outbreak began. He may have lived somewhere in or near Washington D.C.
At some point in the apocalypse, D.J. somehow came into contact with a group named "The Saviors" which he subsequently joined.
D.J. is among the Saviors to accompany Negan to the Alexandria Safe-Zone as they demand Rick's surrender. When negotiations fail, the Saviors launch grenades into Alexandria and they are ordered to find Carl alive. D.J. and Norris spot Carl through the smoke and chase after him. However, Carl is able to escape into the sewer in time thanks to a smoke grande, prompting D.J. and Norris to keep searching for him.
D.J. and Norris carry the coffin containing an undead Dean and follow Gary into Negan's conference room. They are ordered to drop off the coffin and leave. Later, D.J. receives a call from Rick so he gives the walkie talkie to Negan.
D.J. is on guard duty with two others at the Sanctuary's front gate. He approaches Negan's car with his weapon raised but lowers it when he realizes Negan is alive. He tells him that he knew he wasn't dead to which Negan replies that he knows and then tells D.J., to keep his arrival a secret as he wants it to be a surprise for everyone else.
D.J. is promoted to lieutenant and plans the final assault on the Hilltop along with Negan, Simon, Dwight, Gary and Arat. Later, he is among the Saviors to open fire on the other Saviors (including Gary) planning to overthrow Negan. He also witnesses the fight between Negan and Simon inside the Sanctuary and Simon's subsequent death. He also helps capture Dwight, who was revealed by Laura to be a mole working with Rick and the survivors.
D.J. is part of the Saviors' ambush on the Militia. When D.J. attempts to open fire, his handgun explodes due to having been loaded with faulty ammunition manufactured by Eugene. He is injured as a result, clutching his hand but survives unlike many other Saviors. D.J. was later knocked out by Jesus, keeping Morgan from killing him and can be seen being tied up by Jesus. Later, D.J. returned to the Sanctuary alongside Laura and the other surrendering Saviors.
On the road, D.J. and a small group of Saviors stop Maggie and Kal from bringing food to the Sanctuary to question her about their missing people. D.J. watches as Jed steals a tomato out of the back and takes a large bite. Maggie says she'll mark him down for it while D.J. and the other Saviors let her pass.
At the camp, the Saviors are furious with the news of Justin's death. Alden promises they'll get to the bottom of it but is punched in the face by Jed, who claims he isn't one of them anymore. Carol steps in with her gun at her hip, stopping Jed.
While Norris suspects Anne, D.J. accuses Daryl of being the culprit and grabs an axe in preparation to retaliate, with the rest of the Saviors following suit. Arat tries to calm him down while Daryl points a crossbow at him. Before a fight can erupt, Rick rides in the middle of the group with his gun drawn and warns everyone to back off.
At night, D.J. and Jed stage an ambush for Carol and Rick in the woods, with Jed pretending to be a walker to get Carol to lower her guard. As Carol prepares to kill the supposedly reanimated Jed, D.J. blindsides her and pushes her into Jed, who holds Carol at knifepoint while Rick points a gun at his head. Jed explains to Rick that this is about getting their guns back for protection before leaving, before instructing Rick to hand over his gun to D.J. Rick pretends to comply, giving Carol the opportunity to sneakily pull a knife out of her sleeve and stab Jed in the shoulder while Rick points his gun at D.J. and forces him to his knees.
The next morning, D.J. is seen walking back to the Sanctuary with the rest of the Saviors, abandoning the construction project.
At the camp, as Carol packs up, an armed Jed and several Saviors, among them D.J., return. He reveals he knows that Oceanside's been killing the Saviors and he needs her to step aside so he can enact his revenge. Carol pretends to surrender but attacks him again. However, more Saviors show up and a shoot-out ensues.
D.J. survives the shoot out and at some point he decides to move to Alexandria rather than remain with Jed's group of former Saviors.
Six years later, D.J. is now a trusted citizen of Alexandria. When Magna's group enters Alexandria, D.J. and Siddiq rush to meet the group and to ensure they are unarmed. He prevents Magna from heading to the infirmary to be with Yumiko and instead escorts her and the rest of the group to holding. Later, he accompanies the group to the infirmary and watches over everyone.
The next day, D.J. watches as Magna's group prepares to leave and rides on horseback along with Michonne and Siddiq to escort them to the Hilltop.
D.J. accompanies Michonne and Siddiq as they escort Magna's group to their rig. He steers the wagon carrying the survivors as he chats with Yumiko. Upon arriving at the site of the big rig, they find it in a shambles and realize a larger herd had passed through. After putting down the zombies and gathering items that were salvageable, they continue towards the Hilltop. They camp out in a building for the night and D.J. awakens when Michonne destroys Luke's ancient violin. He listens as Luke tells the story about Neanderthals and music before eventually returning to sleep. The next morning, D.J. and the others quickly flee the building after realizing a herd had arrived. They are able to fight enough of the zombies to make it to their horses and wagon and flee the area. Upon approaching the Hilltop, they are met by two guards on horseback who inform the group that Rosita Espinosa was found injured in the woods. D.J. and the rest of the group continue their way towards Hilltop and safely make it into town.
At Hilltop, everyone runs inside as Michonne and Siddiq arrive with Magna and her group. From the guard post, Dianne makes them all surrender their weapons before entering.
Inside, D.J. accompanies Magna and her group to settle in.
In Hilltop, D.J. talks with Tara, Alden, Enid, and Marco to organize a search party to look for the rest since they haven't come back. Luke offers his help and goes out with Alden.
Later, a funeral is held for Jesus and everyone take turns hammering the nails in his coffin. D.J. looks in sadness and then proceeds to leave with the rest of the group to Alexandria.
In the woods, D.J., alongside Ozzy and Alek, helps clear the road to keep the route to the Kingdom safe for the other communities. Later, he accompanies the others to the site where Hilde was ambushed. The group decides to split up, with D.J. and his group leaving to patrol the Kingdom's outskirts.
Later, he, Ozzy, and Alek. find the tied up residents surrounded by several Whisperers in a stable. They rush inside in an act of bravery and start attacking them, giving the group a chance to fight back. In the middle of the chaos, Alpha arrives and the group is subued and then killed, only leaving Siddiq alive as a witness. Later, Alpha puts D.J.'s decapitated head on one of the several pikes used for the Whisperers' border.
The next day, Daryl, Michonne, Carol, Siddiq, and Yumiko find the border and watch in horror at the victims, a reanimated D.J. being among them.
Later, in the Kingdom, Siddiq delivers the tragic news to the crowd, tells them how brave everyone was in their final moments and how they all fought back. He encourages everyone to remember the fallen as brave heroes and to honor them.
- Killed By
- Alpha (Alive, Off-Screen)
D.J., Ozzy, and Alek find the stable where several residents are kidnapped. They fight valiantly to rescue them, but are overpowered and decapitated alongside them by Alpha.
After finding the border, his zombified head is put down by either Daryl, Carol, Michonne, Siddiq, or Yumiko.
This list shows the victims D.J. has killed:
- Gary (Alive) (Alongside Norris and Arat)
- 10 unnamed Saviors (Alongside Norris and Arat)
- At least 1 unnamed Whisperer
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- D.J. was credited in "Scars" but did not appear in the episode.
- So far, D.J. is the only known survivor in the TV Series to renounce his antagonistic ways twice, the first time being after Negan was defeated and the second after the shootout at the campsite. He is also the only known member of Jed's group to have done so. This is despite his former status as Jed's second-in-command.
- Despite being a fiercely loyal and prominent Savior during the war, D.J. never actually killed or even harmed any of the survivors. The only living people he has ever killed on-screen were Simon's loyalists in "Worth", an act that benefited the other survivors.
- D.J. was the last known member of Jed's group of rebels to die.
- Actor Matt Mangum stated that D.J.'s loyalty to Jed was more out of a sense of survival than actual loyalty.
- D.J. is one of five Savior lieutenants to renounce his antagonistic ways, with the other four being Laura, Arat, Eugene Porter, and Dwight.
- According to actor Matt Mangum, there was a cut line in the episode "Stradivarius" where Siddiq asks Michonne to allow him to come with her on the journey to Hilltop with Magna's group, stating that "All D.J. talks about is horses." This is likely a reference to Matt Mangum's horse tattoos, which have appeared in the show before.
- In an interview with BMNY, Matt Mangum joked that D.J.'s name was Don Johnson. However, there is no official confirmation that this is true.